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October 6, 2008

Terry Francona


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Terry Francona.

Q. May we have the daily Lowell update, please?
TERRY FRANCONA: He's hurting today. We knew he was last night. We certainly, without having a running conversation during the game, we kind of know where he's at. When he finally did get on base, we ran for him just because if there was a grounder in the hole and he can't get to second, that puts him in an unfair position. So when the game was over, he was very sore. He showed up today very sore.
He's been looked at by the trainers. I've spoken to him a couple of times. The doctors are probably down there now. We'll get him looked at. We have some decisions to make. Maybe one decision is to do nothing. You know, some of it is going to depend on what the doctors say what we needed to do with him. So it's difficult for him right now because he's pretty banged up.

Q. What is the status of your bullpen, and specifically Papelbon tonight?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, I think everybody's available. But, again, the guys are going out right now to throw down the right field line and if any pitcher says, hey, I feel this or that, we shut them down. Saying that, it's October 6th or whatever, you know. They understand what we're playing for. I'm sure the Angels do, too. They're in the same boat.

Q. What would be the alternative decision to make with Lowell if there isn't one to make right now? You said maybe there isn't a decision to make, but what would be the alternative?
TERRY FRANCONA: I guess my point is if you take him off the roster and he's not available, and, again, I'm not trying to get ahead of myself, but he wouldn't be available for the next series. That's a big decision.
Sometimes the best thing to do is try to be a little patient. If you can afford the patience, maybe your patience is rewarded. Now, again, we need to listen to what the doctors have to say also because I can't diagnose that.
Like I said, it's a little bit difficult and it's tricky. His ability to try to play through a bunch of pain is remarkable, but I think we all kind of saw it was difficult for him last night.

Q. Are you noticing any frustration out of Dustin Pedroia who had so much success during the regular season, and then he looks up after the postseason game and sees zeros next to his batting average?
TERRY FRANCONA: When you say it like that it doesn't sound so good (laughing). I'm starting to feel it.
No, when he was hitting about .400 this summer for about two months, when he would make an out, he was mad. When he makes an out during a playoff game, he gets mad. He takes a lot of responsibility on helping us win. I think there is a difference between being mad and being either frustrated or panicked. I don't see those last two. He likes to play a big part in having us win, when we don't win, he gets mad. That is the way he's been his whole life.

Q. You obviously hit for Varitek last night. You mentioned during the season how you really didn't want to do that. Can we assume that you would take some opportunity to speak with him before the series about those situations if they popped up? Are those difficult decisions to make with him because of what he's done?
TERRY FRANCONA: You're big on the two-parters now, aren't you? Yes, to the first part. Sure, we always communicate with everybody. It just depends on the situation. I guess I'll always try to do what I think is right for our ballclub. Sometimes during the year I think the long-term is more important than people understand.
You get to the postseason, and sometimes, again, if you don't -- Thanksgiving's around the corner and we need to win games. So I guess it all boils down to you try to do what's right. Sometimes the big picture early in the season is more important or you have to at least be aware of that. Now in the postseason with three catchers and some pretty good guys on the bench, it's hard to leave a J.D. Drew not swinging the bat in that situation.

Q. On the off day players in your clubhouse said things like we're up 2-0 and now is the time to keep the pressure on on the Angels. After yesterday's game, the Angels said, well, the pressure's all on them now. Do you feel like the pressure is more on Boston now than on L.A.?
TERRY FRANCONA: I don't think I know how to answer that. I knew you were going to say that. In a short series every game you can pretty much recite before the game what both managers are going to say and both teams. If you lose Game 1, panic. If you are down 2-0 you're up against the wall. It's the same in every series. It's not ours, it's the White Sox. In basketball, it's the same. That's why I think we revert to always to trying to play good baseball. Regardless of what the score of the series is, if you play good baseball, you'll probably end up where you need to be. Sometimes it's a little harder to get there, sometimes it takes longer. But, again, if you just play good baseball, then those quotes will take care of themselves.

Q. Quickly on Wakefield, did you give some consideration last night depending on how long that game went to getting him in the game?
TERRY FRANCONA: Well, it would have been the way we broke down, we put Cash in for Tek, then we went to Ross when we hit for Cash, so we would have gone to Byrd first. If Wake pitches, we'd like it to be Cashy catching, and he was already out of the game. So Byrd would have been the first starter coming out of the pen.

Q. You see a kid like Masterson come in and blow one right past Guerrero to strike him out in a pressure situation, and the other impressive things he's done. What role do you see him in two, three years from now with this team?
TERRY FRANCONA: That's a good question. That's probably to be determined. I think we see him as a good pitcher. I think he could start. He's already proven that to some extent in the Major Leagues even though it's been a small sample size.
I guess it will be determined on how we feel he can impact us more. I think it's going to be interesting to see where that goes. We really don't know. He's a good pitcher though. He'll impact us either way. But what direction it goes will be interesting, and we don't have that answer yet.

End of FastScripts

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